I am spending a few lessons on the topic of gold because so much trust has been placed on it. From the governments of the world for their economic stability to the individual seeking to have a solid financial security for the future, gold has been the choice of many.
The topic of gold evokes interest today just as it always has throughout the millennia. Much of mankind’s history has surely been motivated by the possession of this fascinating metal. One would think that there must be lots of gold in the world today. Not so. If all the gold presently existing above ground in the world were put into one place, it would amount to one solid cube the size of a doubles tennis court and 45 feet high.
That block would represent most of the gold ever mined in history. It is estimated that only about 15% of all gold ever produced has been either consumed or lost. The rest of it all remains accounted for and owned by some person or entity today. There is only about 160,000 tons of gold in the world today. This seems like a lot but it equates to less than one ounce per person on the earth.
Why the big attraction to gold? It is a rare and special substance and one of its most valued properties being that it does not corrode. The only other metal that rivals gold’s properties is platinum. However, platinum is very difficult to produce and is much rarer. The timelessness of gold and also the fact that it is only found in pure form in nature are qualities much admired. In the Bible, gold is used to express ideas of purity, value and wealth.
Gold also plays a significant role in prophecy. Today’s world with its corrupt monetary systems, will want to heed what the Scriptures say about gold, especially its “last day” roles. Unfortunately, there exist some serious misconceptions and false hopes about gold today.
Many believe that in light of hyperinflation, perhaps a massive worldwide economic depression, monetary debasement by corrupt governments or any other form of economic theft, gold will hold its value. Is this really the case? No! We could cite reams of supporting economic and financial history on this point, both ancient and modern.
The history of the past century alone will dispel all such comfortable notions. Despite two world wars, a supposed massive debasement of our currencies hyperinflation, and the recent gold rally, gold has returned a total of -9% in real terms in 111 years. The supposed financial safe harbor of gold has been a myth. Yet it still stands as a stronger investment value than any currency.
Before going any further, it is therefore important to settle this point of “false hope.” In this present age of gold, as alluring and hopeful as it may appear, it does not offer a sure escape from monetary corruption nor judgment. It may be a promising investment from time to time. It may even provide protection from the ravages of inflation during certain periods. But it will not provide assurance against a world “where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” (See Matt.6:20). In the first place, we must remember that our Lord Jesus Christ still remains in heaven and that this world still remains thoroughly corrupted.
This great era of human history from a commercial point of view can be called “the Age of Global Capital”. It is marked by world-wide sophisticated forms of monetary corruption and theft. Because of these conditions, many people seek a safe haven for their savings. Investors therefore value gold for what they believe is its property of “real money.”
Just what does the Bible say about gold today and its future roles, especially at the time that God restores everything? In tackling this subject, we need to consider gold’s role over five different eras of time:
1. Old Testament times
2. The Last Days (beginning with the revealing of the Church in the Book of Acts)
3. The Tribulation period
4. The Millennium
5. The Eternal Jerusalem
To be continued...